Officers from the SoR have been working with the RCOG and RCM on a “Consensus statement from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives, Society and College of Radiographers: Supporting women and their partners through prenatal screening for Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome”
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a more accurate screening test in pregnancy. It is due to be rolled out on the NHS in England over the next few years, as part of the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme (FASP). It will be offered to those with a higher chance (1:2 to 1:150) of having a baby with trisomy 13, 18 and 21, determined at the combined or quadruple screening tests. This will apply to both singleton and twin pregnancies.
The document provides advice on education for health care professionals involved in NIPT, particularly relating to the provision of information to gain valid, informed consent and ensure patient choice is respected. Some key highlights include:
The FASP has developed an education and training packagewhich should be completed by all staff involved in NIPT. Regional workshops of “NIPT champions” have been implemented, with cascade training, similar to that provided when the additional heart views were introduced to the FASP. NIPT champions include sonographers but, regardless of who the NIPT champion is, all sonographers involved in the FASP and NIPT need to be trained to provide safe, patient-centred care. There is also a shorter e-learning package that can be used as a refresher.
The document provides information about information and guidance documents that are being developed and signposts health care professionals to relevant charities and organisation who can provide additional support to parents.
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